94 dodge fwd had trans rebuilt and no reverse

I sent my 94 dodge fwd automatic transmission to a mechanic who put rebuilt kit in truck. He kept truck for 2 weeks and reinstalled trans. He couldn’t get reverse to work. Gave me what amounted to " I’m in over my head " speech. He refunded labor. I paid for parts. Now I have a rebuilt trans with no reverse. He changed clutches, seals and valve. What else can i do at this point before giving up? Any possible external issues or fixes? Solenoids weren’t changed out.



here are the big questions . . .

Did you have reverse BEFORE the guy rebuilt the transmission?

Why did you sent the transmission out to be rebuilt?

No reverse had gone out prior to my sending it to mechanic. He pulled trans and had it rebuilt. Re installed it and discovered it still had no reverse. He complained that components were old and truck was trouble. He charged me for parts and brought truck back to me.

Any suggestions would be great please. I’m at a loss. I like the old truck and would like to have it running properly.


Thanks for that additional information

Now it’s clear that the guy either didn’t do any diagnosis before rebuilding the transmission, or his diagnosis was wrong

“He complained that components were old and truck was trouble.”

Translation . . . he’s out of his element, and he doesn’t want to see you or your truck ever again. That’s why he only charged you parts. He’s taken a bath on the labor, and you’ve taken a bath on the parts. He probably wishes he’d never agreed to work on the transmission in the first place

you need to find somebody else to diagnose and repair the transmission. Perhaps a well-established independent transmission repair shop in your area

My next bit of advice is real simple . . . bring the whole truck to the next shop, not just the transmission. If you have to have it towed, so be it

A transmission tech can remove the valve body and test the clutch drum and accumulator reaction with air pressure and possible identify the problem. However because this transmission has had an amateur rebuild they will likely insist on disassembling the transmission to inspect for proper assembly and clearances. Expect to have a complete rebuild performed.

A rebuild kit has simple wear items. No reverse means another part broke. A part which is not in the kit.

Fwd…I don’t think so. You need your transmission checked out by an independent transmission shop. You can expect a total rebuild though unless it’s a simple problem.

Ok. Clarification. The truck was taken to mechanic. He removed it and took in to transmission shop that rebuilt it. It’s possible that both rebuild and reinstallation were messed up. I have someone else taking a look at it. Will update.


Just make sure you take the entire truck to this new guy

I need some clarification here. For research purposes, I am assuming you have a 318 ci engine. This truck came with either a 4 speed overdrive transmission or a regular 3 speed transmission. If you have the exact transmission model i.e. 42RH or 30RH, that would help.

In the case of the 3 speed, if there is no Reverse the problem is either in the high clutch or the reverse/low band. Do you have good engine braking in High and in Manual Low? These tests will point at the failing element.

In the case of the 4 speed over drive the above friction elements are also involved. In addition there is the direct clutch in the overdrive unit. That clutch is activated by a heavy spring (830 pounds compressed) that is always compressed. When overdrive is commanded the overdrive piston compresses the overdrive clutch; compresses the direct spring further; and releases the direct clutch pack. This locks the overdrive sun and allows the driven planet gears to overdrive the output ring gear. Again if you have lack of engine braking in manual High, 2nd, and Low that could be because of a slipping direct clutch in the overdrive unit. You would still not have slippage in the forward gears as there is a one way roller clutch from the intermediate shaft to the output shaft that engages in the clockwise rotation when viewed from the vehicle front.

Here is the list of possible causes of No Reverse for the 42RH transmission

  1. Failed direct clutch spring i.e. broken, weak, or collapsed
  2. Wrong overdrive piston spacer
  3. Overdrive piston not fully seated
  4. Failed overdrive piston thrust bearing
  5. Direct clutch pack wear
    6 Rear band out of adjustment
  6. Failed front clutch

Setting the clearances for the overdrive clutch pack and the direct clutch are difficult because they cross the main case/overdrive unit joint. Chrysler service has special tools and charts for setting this clearance.

Hope this helps. If you find the source of your problem, please pass the information along to this Post.